Concussions are a traumatic brain injury that are caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the brain to shake inside the skull. You do not have to lose consciousness to have a concussion and often there are no immediate visible signs that one has occurred.
What are the signs and symptoms of a concussion?
Concussion symptoms can arise within 24-48 hours after the initial incident. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop any of the following symptoms:
Physical symptoms include:
- Difficulty with balance
- Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
- Difficulty with sleeping
- Double or blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light and sound
Cognitive symptoms include:
- Difficulty with short-term or long-term memory
- Difficulty recognizing people or places
- Difficulty with concentration
Emotional symptoms include:
- Mood swings
- Decreased tolerance of stress
How long does it take to recover from a concussion?
Recovery times vary greatly depending upon the individual and the severity of the concussion. The decision to return to normal activity should be made with your health care provider.
How do I manage my concussion?
Rest is the most appropriate way to allow your brain to recover from a concussion. Your doctor will recommend that you physically and mentally rest to recover from a concussion. This means avoiding general physical exertion, including sports or any vigorous activities, until you have no symptoms. This rest also includes limiting activities that require thinking and mental concentration, such as playing video games, watching TV, schoolwork, reading, texting or using a computer. Your doctor may recommend that you have shortened school day or workdays, take breaks during the day, or have reduced school workloads or work assignments as you recover from a concussion. As your symptoms improve, you may gradually add more activities that involve thinking, such as doing more schoolwork or work assignments, or increasing your time spent at school or work.
How can physical therapy help?
Physical therapist cannot help the brain – only your body can do that. We can, however, help in the recovery from concussion by monitoring the physical, mental, and emotional symptoms of a patient to determine when they are no longer symptomatic. Physical therapy also includes manual therapy and exercises to improve balance and alleviate neck pain, headaches, and dizziness.
Why Peak Performance Physical Therapy?
We are specially trained to evaluate and treat many problems related to concussion. We can assess your individual symptoms and limitations and design an individualized treatment plan to promote a full recovery.
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For more information, read the physical therapists’ guide to concussions.
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